Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad and Cripple Creek Heritage Center
Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Another fun day trip in the area is the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. It usually is open end of May through October each year, so check the schedule on their website before going (cripplecreekrailroad.com). We have visited the railroad several times now, especially when we have family in town and everyone has positive things to say after the experience.
The railroad is an old steam locomotive (15 ton iron horse of the 0-4-0 type) and has open air cars that give you a great experience to feel the wind and look at the gorgeous views. Do take extra layers though as it can get cool. The train ride takes you past many historic mines and lasts about 45 minutes. It leaves every 70 minutes on operating days so there are plenty of opportunities to hop on board.
We have always gone on one of the first rides out in the morning and have never had a problem getting a good spot. They have a narrator on the train that provides education on the history of the area, the mines and the environment. The train also stops in Echo Valley for some photo opportunities and to hear the echo of the train, which kids really like. This is a hidden gem that you will not be disappointed booking and kids always love riding on a train.
The other hidden gem is the Cripple Creek Heritage Center located right when you get into Cripple Creek. We stop here every time we visit the area as it is a great place to eat a packed picnic lunch, explore the museum and take some nice pictures. The Heritage center is open daily from 9-5 and is FREE to get in. They also have a lot of maps of things to do in the area that are also free. It is truly a great place to stop in and explore when you are in the area.